Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Easter was a delicious weekend, posted April 14, 2009 at 01:22 AM

Cotton candy at the Easter Parade. Click all images for larger....And many more pictures of the weekend can be found here.

I love Easter because I love family, I love food, and I love Peeps! For family and food, my sister played Easter Bunny this year and came hippity-hoppity up from Washington. For Peeps, well, I still have some stale ones in the cupboard!

Stephanie arrived on Friday night. Patsy and I were both home and the three of us shared a cocktail and caught up a bit before dinner. We went to Frankies Spuntino in Carroll Gardens. I love this place. I've been three or four times in the last few weeks. Their food is fresh, carefully prepared, and basic in all the right ways. Stephanie had the homemade pappardelle with rabbit, and Patsy and I both had the pork brasciola. It was all divine. Their house wine is 12 bucks for half-liter carafe, and it's delicious. Best wine bargain this side of the East River. Yummy!

The next morning, after coffee and cereal at home, Stephanie and I headed into the city. I had tickets for the opera, which Laura was attending with me. So I kissed Stephanie goodbye at 34th Street as she headed out for a day of shopping. She hit Macy's then buzzed down to Century 21, stopping for a French lunch at Les Halles. I met Laura at the Met and we indulged in five sublime hours of Wagner. I'd never seen Die Walkure before. My god it was great (I'm going to blog about the opera separately, so stay tuned...). Laura brought us muffins and doughnuts from the farmers market. Mmmmmm -- cider doughnuts!

Miss Howell arrives at the Met

We left Lincoln Center five hours later full of music and sturm und drang and met Stephanie at Alta for a cocktail and some bacon-wrapped dates (the fruit, not men). Our bartender was horrified by the idea of a five-hour opera, let alone a five-hour shopping spree, though he seemed to quite like Laura's rather, uh, physically illustrated telling of how her bra wasn't feeling so balanced (he feigned embarrassment, but his macho demeanor and his Boston accent gave him away--he loved it).

Amy and I sharing a laugh

We kissed Miss Howell goodnight and headed east to meet Jim & Alex and Phil & Amy for dinner. Phil and Amy are back in town from London for a few weeks, and it was wonderful to catch up with them and enjoy a nice dinner together. Felt like old times--happy laughter and food and wine.

Stephanie and I at dinner

Easter Sunday arrived with a crisp sunshine and a stiff breeze. Stephanie and I brunched at Clover Club on Smith Street, which is now my favorite place for brunch. Patsy and I went there a couple weeks ago and both times have been spectacular. Let's just put it this way: one of the brunch entrees is called "Bacon tasting." Oh yes indeed I had it! Stephanie and I split it, actually, along with an order of four yummy deviled eggs, which we thought was a funny thing to eat on Easter morning. Then we each had an order of ricotta pancakes. Oh my. I'm a believer again!

After brunch it was time for the traditional Easter Parade!

Fabulous folks dressed to the nines for Easter Sunday's promenade

Scary characters at the Easter Parade!

Now the Easter Parade is not a parade at all--it's a promenade. They close off 5th Avenue in Midtown and the people are free to simply mill about. The bonnets, the bunnies, the bon vivants! Some people are dressed in their Sunday best, arriving at the parade just after church. Some are turned out in fancy bonnets--homemade affairs of eggs and plastic flowers and fur and everything spring. Some are dressed up in costume--Easter rabbits, Alice in Wonderland characters, and all kinds of wacko freaky things you'd expect from an "only in New York" kind of event. We had a blast checking out all the funny hats, all the freaks, all the cute kids. And I took lots of pictures.

Sweet family on parade

Pastelly fellies at the parade

The Easter Bunny takes a break from parading

MoMA is conveniently half a block from the parade, and it's somewhat of a tradition for me to go there afterward. We saw a fascinating photography show of the American West, as well as a nice small show about paper in the drawing galleries. We took in the main painting and sculpture galleries, then we followed another Easter tradition and found ourselves a couple of seats at the bar at The Modern. Along with cocktails we ate some homemade country sausage and an order of liverwurst which the bartender claimed was the "best wurst" in the city. (It was delicious, but I personally think the best wurst is to be found at Cafe Katja on the Lower East Side).

Stephanie and I in the sculpture garden at MoMA
Many more pictures of the weekend can be found here.

Easter is all about eternity, but Easter weekends always come to an end sometime. Stephanie went back to Penn Station to catch a train back to DC, and I picked up my lonely bicycle at the office and enjoyed a nice but windy 6-mile ride just before sunset.

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